After SC's verdict, what next for Chandigarh poll official Anil Masih? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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After SC's verdict, what next for Chandigarh poll official Anil Masih?

Feb 20, 2024 04:34 PM IST

Chandigarh mayoral polls: Supreme Court orders notice to Anil Masih for defacing ballot papers

The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that in the Chandigarh mayoral polls, the presiding officer intentionally attempted to deface eight ballot papers. The top court instructed the Registrar Judicial to issue a notice to Anil Masih for perjury proceedings due to the false statement made before the Court.

The Supreme Court has directed Returning Officer Anil Masih to remain present on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court has directed Returning Officer Anil Masih to remain present on Tuesday.

“It is evident that the presiding officer made a deliberate attempt to deface 8 ballot papers,” said the Supreme Court bench led by chief justice D Y Chandrachud.

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ALSO READ- SC declares AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar winner of Chandigarh mayoral election

On Monday, the presiding officer said in the Supreme Court that the mark on eight ballots was made because they were defaced. The top court had then warned him of severe consequences if he made a false statement.

Masih has been given three weeks to respond and explain why perjury proceedings should not be initiated against him.

"A notice of perjury has been issued against the presiding officer (Anil Masih) and proceedings under IPC have also been directed against him," said advocate Shadan Farasat.

The court clarified that it wasn't annulling the entire election but focusing on addressing issues in the counting process, which resulted in the invalidation of eight votes for Kumar.

What happened in Chandigarh mayoral polls?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured victory in the Chandigarh mayoral polls on January 30, defeating the Aam Aadmi Party-Congress alliance candidate. The returning officer declared eight votes from the coalition partners invalid, leading to accusations of ballot tampering. Manoj Sonkar of the BJP won the mayor's post with 16 votes against his rival's 12 but subsequently resigned. Furthermore, three AAP councillors shifted their allegiance to the BJP.

(Inputs from PTI)

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